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Connecticut Cultural Consumers. Connecticut Humanities Council Connecticut Landmarks Research by Reach Advisors. The Research.

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Connecticut Cultural Consumers

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    1. Connecticut Cultural Consumers Connecticut Humanities Council Connecticut Landmarks Research by Reach Advisors

    2. The Research 􀂃Connecticut Cultural Consumers survey -n=4,450 from 24 CT cultural institutions -Review of CT demographic and macroeconomic indicators 􀂃Field-wide visitors surveys -2007 Association of Children’s Museums (n>5,000 from 33 US museums) -2008 outdoor history (n>5,000 from 13 US museums) -2008 Association of Science-Technology Centers (n>14,000 respondents) 􀂃Consumer research / demographic analysis -Spring ‘08 lifestyle survey (n=2,275 adults in 20s and 30s) -10,000s households for client work

    3. The Big Questions ? 􀂃Who is the cultural consumer in CT? 􀂃What are Museum Advocates, and why are they important? 􀂃What are their interpretation preferences? 􀂃What is the role of historic house museums?

    4. Why They Visit 􀂃53% immersion in history, art 􀂃53% curious, love to learn 􀂃49% sense of place 􀂃30% important to community 􀂃29% authenticity 􀂃26% family learning

    5. Why They Join 􀂃62% support community organizations 􀂃58% improve programs/exhibits 􀂃50% support cultural organizations 􀂃25% pay for services received 􀂃17% saves money 􀂃6% because “I was asked”

    6. Interpretation Preferences

    7. Interpretation Preferences -Topline 􀂃68% on own, with text panels/brochures 􀂃48% programs/events 􀂃45% guided tours 􀂃34% audio tours 􀂃29% hands-on activities 􀂃25% talking with staff 􀂃17% classes/workshops 􀂃9% videos/electronic media

    8. Historic House Museums

    9. Historic House Museum and Guided Tours 􀂃45% enjoy guided tours 􀂃7% sometimes enjoy guided tours 􀂃48% do not enjoy guided tours

    10. Historic House Museum and Guided Tours While 49% of Museum Advocates enjoy guided tours . . . . . . only 39% of Core Visitors enjoy them . . . . . . do guided tours keep the general public away?

    11. Tours: A Polarizing Interpretation Method 􀂃Respondents feel: -trapped, controlled, pressured …or stimulated 􀂃Other visitors are: -annoying, distracting …or insightful 􀂃Guides are: -monotonous, condescending, insipid, intimidating … - or passionate, smart, articulate 􀂃Tours are: -dumbed down, too structured, boring …or fun, enriching

    12. Why People Enjoy Tours 􀂃68% In-depth information -“They provide the depth and scope that we'd miss on our own.” -“Often provides information you didn't know to ask about.” 􀂃22% Interaction -“You can't get questions answered from a sign.” 􀂃22% Personal touch -“Guided tours bring the museum to life.” -“There is nothing better than the excitement and personal connection that a dynamic guide can offer.”

    13. Why People Dislike Tours 􀂃55% prefer self-guided experiences -“Part of the reason I go to museums is to explore by myself, as an antidote to structured activities.” -“Maybe I want to go faster or slower” -“If I don't need a guide to watch TV or go to a football game or to an art museum, why do I need a guide to see a historic house museum?”

    14. The Challenge of Guided Tours 􀂃 13% cite uneven quality of guides -“Most do not seem like they enjoy what they are doing.” -“The pedantic and self-satisfied style of most tour guides is a real turn-off.” -“Usually canned monologues” 􀂃11% say too crowded -“Feel like a sheep being herded from one room to the next.” -“Too short to see over the heads of basketball players.”

    15. If they could do anything, what would they do? 􀂃29% closer proximity to/touch artifacts 􀂃15% eat and drink 􀂃14% hands-on activities 􀂃13% attend/host parties 􀂃10% extended stay 􀂃9% behind the scenes 􀂃9% respite

    16. What They Would Love to do Instead –Women Over 50 􀂃Experience site at a slower pace • -“Browse.” • -“Tour very slowly and enjoyably without noise!!!” 􀂃Passive communion with surroundings • -“Sit in a comfortable arm chair, drink in hand, and immerse myself in art work of particular interest.” -“Sit down and become part of the house. Sink into the lives lived there in the past.”

    17. The Challenges 􀂃Audiences at art, history museums skew older (50+), female 􀂃Engagement of moms 􀂃Creating more Museum Advocates 􀂃Dissatisfaction with guided tours

    18. Historic House Museums 􀂃Create other options for access 􀂃Incorporate hands-on elements 􀂃Expand opportunities for closer interactions 􀂃Present layers of detail 􀂃Show nooks and crannies 􀂃Encourage communion with past 􀂃Facilitate social experiences

    19. Museums Have It 􀂃Places of: -Thoughtfulness: “A great place to learn and have fun” -Wonder: “I have experiences I don't expect” -Inspiration: “They expand my thinking” -Connection: “Priceless memory shared between family/friends” -Solace: “I forget the real world for a while” -Community: “They are the foundations of modern life, society”